Author’s note: I have two cats called Roger and Raven. In the summer months they wake when the sun does – which is about an hour before I feed them. This story was inspired by their morning routine to wake me.
The sunlight streamed through the window, the light waking Roger.
“What time is it?” he asked. “It must be time for breakfast!”
He jumped out of bed and started to rush about putting his clothes on. It was the weekend, so he was keen to be outside as quickly as possible. His brother Colin, was sleepy and asked
“Roger, what time is it?”
Roger looked at the clock. he wasn’t sure, so he replied
“It must be breakfast time!”
Colin opened one eye and looked at the clock.
“Roger,” he said, “What time is it?”
Roger looked. One hand was pointing up at the twelve, the other down at the six. He could count to twenty, so he replied
“Twelve six. Breakfast time!”
“No, that’s not right, is it Roger? What time did mummy say breakfast time was?”
“And is seven in your reply?”
“Mostly” said Roger hopefully. “I’d better get up and check anyway.”
Colin sighed. “Roger, what number is the little hand pointing at?”
“The six.” replied Roger.
“And the bigger hand?”
“So, if the big hand is pointing upwards to the twelve, people say ‘of the clock’ or ‘o’clock’. So the time is?”
“Six twelve of the clock.”
“Close – Six O’clock. Time for little rabbits to be in bed.”
Colin closed his eyes. He knew this would be a long time. Roger on the hand was trying to work out how long he had to wait until breakfast. The sun was rising in the sky and he wanted to have his breakfast and go and have an adventure. He watched the clock until he said
“It must be breakfast time now!”
Colin sighed, looked at the clock and said
“Roger, what time is it?”
Roger looked at the clock.
He knew the six was important, so he said
“Six three o’clock. Breakfast time.”
“Does your time have a seven in it?” asked Colin.
“No” replied Roger, a little worried as breakfast seemed a long time away now.
“What is the short arm pointing to?”
“The Six, sort of.”
“And the longer arm?”
“So the bigger arm is now about a quarter of the way round. So we say that it is Quarter Past. So the time is now Quarter Past Six. Not time for breakfast.”
Roger watched the clock. Colin shut his eyes, but was ready when…
“It must be breakfast time now – the short hand has gone! Probably gone for breakfast?”
“So the bigger hand is over the little hand?” asked Colin. Roger got up and looked carefully at the clock. He could see the shorter pointer under the first. It hadn’t gone for breakfast after all. Colin asked Roger
“How far round has the longer arm gone now?”
“About halfway” replied Roger.
“Quite right” answered Colin. “It has gone half way or half past. So what time is it?”
“Half past… six?” answered Roger.
“Right again” said Colin. “Still time for rabbits to be asleep.”
But Roger was not going to go to sleep. The sunlight was getting warmer and Roger wanted to go out and play. He thought about all the things he was going to do and all the games he wanted to play. He tried to close his eyes, and when he opened them…
“It must be breakfast time NOW.”
Colin looked at the clock.
“What time is it Roger?”
Roger thought hard. He looked at the big arm. It had gone almost all the way round and was pointing at the nine. He knew it would be part number thing… so he thought a little and said
“It’s six quarter half past o’clock.”
Colin looked at Roger.
“Did I get it right?” Roger asked. Colin shook his head.
“No, but it’s better. How far has the big arm got to go – has it still got halfway to go?”
“No” replied Roger. “It’s only got about a quarter of the way. So that means it must be Quarter to go six.”
“Not quite” said Colin. “It’s a Quarter to the next hour – what comes after six?”
“Seven!” replied Roger. “It’s a Quarter to Seven!”
“But still not time for breakfast.” said Colin.
Roger watched the clock like a Hawk, until he said
“It’s seven of the clock! Breakfast time!”
“But how can you tell?” asked Colin.
“Because the short hand is pointing to the seven and the bigger hand it pointing straight up.”
“Well done” said Colin. “Yes, it is seven o’clock.”
“And I can smell breakfast” added Roger.
“Yes, so can I” replied Colin. “Let’s go and have breakfast.”